Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Parents and Patience

Unwrapping the Present Called "Patience"

We all know intuitively that children benefit greatly from patience shown by those caring for them. Yet, patience remains an elusive quality, extremely hard to incorporate and manifest. But if you knew that patience holds a treasure for you, wouldn't you be willing to put in a small effort to find it?

Patience Defined

In the dictionary, patience is defined as: the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset. Just think of a long line at the grocery store check-out or an endless wait at the doctor’s office and you get the picture.

Patience Benefits You

Now let’s dig one layer deeper. You may have heard the statement: “In your patience possess ye your souls,” (Luke 21:19). It is attributed to Jesus admonishing his friends to be steadfast in times of uncertainty and crisis. Jesus links patience to the soul through the word ‘possess’. The dictionary defines ‘possess’ as: to have or own. In other words:  to know intimately. From this perspective the quoted statement would mean that patience allows you to get to know your soul. And that - getting to know your soul - is exactly the treasure hidden inside patience!

Opening the Gift Of Patience

Identifying and receiving the gift patience holds, requires being fully present in the moment. In whatever situation you find yourself, the  instant you feel that your patience is being tested in the regular sense, you interrupt the stream of thoughts that is taking possession of your mind, and instead you tune in completely to what’s going on right then and there.

     There is a reason why you are at this place at this moment. And that reason has to do with what you can offer this situation. Look deep inside yourself and identify a spiritual quality that you resonate with, such as hope, peace, harmony, gentleness, joy, beauty, or love. The call for patience is a signal to match the situation you find yourself in with an inner spiritual quality that fits it perfectly. An example will clarify how this works.

     Suppose you’ve identified ‘beauty’ as a spiritual quality that you resonate with especially. How can you manifest beauty in the daily time-consuming ritual of children’s bath time? This is how you could go about it: focus on the beauty that is a child, and on the beauty of play. Surround yourself with beauty in the bathroom, such as pretty towels, fancy soap. Engage your child and together create a beautiful soap-sud-scape on the bathroom wall. Put on some lovely music. There are myriad possibilities allowing you to express beauty during bath time.

     Working this way the call for patience is the trigger that opens an inner doorway which allows you to express a genuinely felt spiritual quality, rather than let patience be the trigger to tap your foot and absent-mindedly sit it out, or start checking messages.

     Allow your attitude and action to well up from the level of the soul and infuse the three-dimensional world with spiritual light. When your hands express the stirrings of your heart, you’ll start to understand what this getting-to-know-your-soul-business is all about. You’re no longer just a parent who’s willing to put their own agenda on hold for the sake of their child’s bath time, you’ve become a truly patient parent, meaning: by purposefully calling forth a spiritual quality you hold inside of you, you have allowed your soul to shine through in what you do. You have become an inspiration, both to yourself and your child.

     And that is the gift patience holds. It is there for all of us, if we know where and how to look for it! You will no longer have to roll your eyes, dig deep trying to find the willingness to wait gracefully when your agenda is put on hold by circumstances. Turn it around, for this is your chance to let an inner spiritual quality come forward and confirm that spiritual quality as part of who you are.

     If you have found a way to mine the gold that true patience holds, we'd love to hear from you; please share by using the comment box below. Are you wondering how to choose a spiritual quality in a recurring situation that is trying your patience? Let us know and leave a comment.

Recommended Reading

To learn more about being fully present with your kids, you might want to read the following posts presented previously on

Images courtesy of photostock at


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